Emilio Bonifacio Experiment Continuing To Hurt Toronto Blue Jays

By Thom Tsang
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Emilio Bonifacio probably should not be playing baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays.

In fact, if you’ve had the displeasure of watching him throughout this disappointing 2013 season for the bluebirds, you’d have to wonder if he should be playing baseball for any MLB team at all. It’s too bad, really, considering that his multi-positional skill set and speed would have seemed like a nice fit in the lineup headed into the season.

As Toronto has found out in the most frustrating ways, of course, there’s a reason why they call them expectations and not results.

So, the results then: Bonifacio is currently a carrying a .206/.236/.315 triple-slash over 177 PA, making him an essential non-factor at the plate, even if his seven stolen bases puts him on base for 20 for the full year. Considering that he can’t even lay a proper bunt down though (11 attempts to two bunt hits), even that speed comes with the caveat of a whole lot of outs.

That .551 OPS (seventh worst in the majors if he qualified) would be plenty of writing on the wall, but what really drives home that -0.6 fWAR he’s accumulated for the season is his defense … or rather, the lack thereof.

The -2.3 fielding runs above average should tell you a little bit about that the Blue Jays have had to witness overall, but if you wanted an encapsulation of just how bad it’s gotten, you’d need to look no further than the highlights of the Blue Jays’ most recent game on Monday night, a fog-delayed contest against the Chicago White Sox.

Now only did Bonifacio put up his usual 0-for-4 from the bottom of the lineup, his one-out error in the eighth (preceded by a so-bad-it’s-almost-funny Edwin Encarnacion botched throw, to be fair) resulted in the first of  three back-breaking runs that sealed a 10-6 loss.

The error was his team-leading fifth of the season, but even more disheartening might be that he managed this in just 310.1 innings of play.

Whatever role it is that the team hoped that Bonifacio would be able to fill, it’s not the one he has now … unless they were looking for a liability on the field and at the plate day in and day out. Exacerbating the issue, of course, is that with Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie both still out, it’s not as though the roster is ripe with replacement options.

Until the team can get healthy enough to help themselves, they’ll just have to keep doing what they probably shouldn’t be for now.

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